The Hidden Costs of Happiness

Anyone who has ever taken an economics class has heard the phrase, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

It means that everything has a cost, even if that cost is not always immediately apparent. To achieve anything, you must give up something else.

In today’s happiness-obsessed culture, most pursue just the opposite: we want to know how to be happy with no costs, all benefits. We want the rewards without the risks, the gain without the pain.

But ironically, it’s this unwillingness to sacrifice anything, to give up anything, that makes us more miserable.

As with anything else, happiness has costs. It is not free. And despite what Cover Girl or Tony Robbins or the Dalai Lama once told you, it’s not always easy breezy figuring out how to be happy either.
1. You Must Accept Imperfection and Flaws
Many people believe that if they just collect a house, a spouse, a car, and 2.5 children, everything will be “perfect.” Life has a checklist. You check each item off, you get to be happy and old for a couple decades, then you die.

But life doesn’t work that way. Problems don’t go away …